Here’s to lookin’ at the cargo staring back at you from your powered trailer dolly:
A hot-button issue, the Senate Appropriations Committee is seeking electronic logging device (ELD) exemptions for livestock and insect haulers, set to be required by law October 1st. Though the issue isn’t specifically addressed in the 2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) bill, report language encourages the Department of Transportation to further consider ELD rules and exemptions for this segment.
The unique challenges presented by transporting live animals and insects, such as bees, critical to the agriculture industry for pollination, fall hard on the trucking industry. Hauling live organisms, far different from inanimate objects, requires the ability to keep the animals and insects safe from exposure and environmental stressors. If the ELD exemptions are not granted, drivers transporting live organisms more than 150-air-miles from their loading point will be required to turn on the devices, and prohibited from driving more than 11-hours at a time.
A top issue among ranchers and farmers who want to expand the exemption radius to 300-air-miles, the future of ELD exemptions for livestock and insect haulers remains in question. It will likely be ironed out between the House and Senate, and potentially used as a negotiation tool.
Critics against the exemption argue safety, the known consequences of tired truckers, and the industry’s continued problems surrounding compliance with hours of service regulations, with segments are already shirking requirements. Truckload Carriers Association Vice President of Government Affairs David Heller agrees that exempting parts of the industry from complying with rules and regulations is not the answer. He advocates further engagement in discussions to find alternative ways to improve compliance and safety.
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